Spring 2017 Syllabus

PDF Version

Catalog Description
Introductory-level design course oriented toward the development and understanding of the conceptual and creative processes utilized in design to achieve effective visual solutions. Graphics development, page layout, typography, typesetting and production skills in print and web are developed and/or refined.

Course Objectives
This course is designed to introduce printing process, the development of professional practices, web design, refinement of your design aesthetic and the continuation of software development in solving design problems. This class will be primarily lectures, demonstrations, in-class critiques/reviews and in/outside-class studio activities.


  • Become sensitive to the visual concerns of typography and image as it relates to the design.
  • Encourage the designer to conceive, plan, and execute designs that communicate a specific message to a specific audience within the given limitations.
  • Encourage and continue the development of problem solving skills and concepts
  • Acquire design skills required for future career opportunities
  • Introduce digital technology as related to the design, printing process and web/digital environment.

Meeting Times
January 17th through May 5th 2017, Tuesday and Thursday, 7:30 to 10:20 a.m. 3 semester hrs. in OP1220/1224.

Forms, folds, Sizes by Poppy Evans (required)
HTML and CSS: Design and Build Websites by Jon Puckett (required)
A subscription to Communication Arts
Color Index and Color Index 2 by Jim Krause (recommended)
Winning Portfolios for Graphic Designers by Cath Caldwell (recommended)
Learning Web Design: A Designer’s Guide to HTML, CSS, JavaScript and Web Graphics by Jennifer Niederst Robbins (recommended)
Current industry periodicals as required. (ex: How, CA . . . ) (recommended)

Tracking Time
You need to start tracking time you spend outside of class on all the work for this course. A website to do this with is the toggl.com website. You should not have to pay for the basic service. You will need to turn in the time-sheet with each project and include it in your process book. Homework assignment tracking will not be collected when due, but it should be printed at the time the assignment is done (only include time from that assignment) to include in your process book.

Process Book
In this course you will need to have a process book/design idea diary for the semester. This book should be kept in a 3-ring binder. This will be checked and graded incrementally throughout the semester. This works best with folders/separators for the sections. The purpose behind this is to organize your thoughts, ideas and process for preparation in the real world!

Items to include in your process book:

  • Quizzes
  • Notes (from lectures and projects)
  • Sketches
  • Toggl.com time tracking reports for each homework and project with an overall summary at each check.
  • Ideas and inspirational material (urls and images need to be printed out)

Supplies and Extras

  • Laptop or desktop computer (laptop can be brought to class to work)
  • Sketchbook
  • 3-ring binder and folders/dividers for process book
  • Storage Device – Jump-drives, external hard drives (put your name on it!)
  • Digital Camera (recommended)
  • Adobe Creative Cloud Software Subscription (we will be using multiple
    programs of software form this collection, InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, and
    Dreamweaver mostly, though we may touch on others)
  • Epson Paper (8.5 x 11 and 13 x 19) matte and glossy
  • You may also need to purchase additional supplies as needed.


Homework will be given on a daily basis in addition to regular projects. These can range from technical to design issues for you to resolve. These are to be included in your process book. You may get multiple homework assignments at a time.

Quizzes will use information from the blog, lectures, assignments and handouts.

Projects will be larger assignments in conjunction with homeworks.
Tentative main projects for this semester.
These projects can change and/or be added to as semester progresses.

  • Presentation On A Designer/Promotional Design
  • Illustration Assignment
  • Website
  • Stationary Set
  • Class Poster
  • Postcard
  • CD Design
  • Self Promotion

Absentee Policy
Roll is taken daily. Greater than 3 unexcused absences will result in a reduction of your final grade by one letter grade (four is one letter, five is two letter, etc.). Requests for excused absences should be submitted to the instructor (and acknowledged as such) before the class to be missed. This includes sports practice or away competitive events, band or other instructor-led group trips sponsored by faculty/university administration. This does not include Fraternity, Sorority or other extra curricular type of activities. If you are sick you must notify the instructor as quickly as possible. Determination of the absence (excused or not) is at the discretion of the instructor. DO NOT ABUSE!

Tardiness & Leaving Early Policy
Lateness & leaving early will count as full absence. I keep very strict attendance records, be warned! Determination of the absence is at the discretion of the
instructor. DO NOT ABUSE!

Effort Policy
Students who are late to class, unprepared or who do not participate will receive reduced grades when applicable. Any late or incomplete projects will result in failure on the project; unless such is the result of an excused absence (in which case every effort should be made to turn in the project early). Excuse-ability will be determined by your effort throughout the course of the project and at the instructor’s discretion.

Cell Phones
Turn it OFF or leave it on mute, so that phone does not disrupt the class.

Computer labs
Food or drinks are allowed in the labs but NOT at the tables with computers in the lab at ANY time! If this privilege is abused food and drink will be removed from the lab for the remaining of the semester.

Spray Mount
Spray mount is not allowed in any of the graphic design labs. If you are caught spraying in this building (other than a designated area in studio area), you will drop one letter grade from the course. Do NOT bring in any bottles/cans of spray mount or the professors will confiscate it.

By enrolling in this Truman State University Art Department course, permission is granted by the student, to the university to use any artwork, designs or illustrations, as demonstrative samples of student work for the stated course, in competitions, university publications, websites or multimedia promotions.

Plagiarism/Cheating Policy
Plagiarism and cheating are serious offenses and may be punished by failure
on the exam, paper or project; failure in the course; and/or expulsion from
the university.

TSU will make reasonable accommodations for persons with documented disabilities. Students need to contact the Director of Disability Services and the professor as early in the semester as possible to ensure that classroom and academic accommodations are implemented in a timely fashion. All communication between students, the Office of Disability Services, and the professor will be strictly confidential.

As an instructor, one of my priorities is to help create a safe learning
environment. I also have a mandatory reporting responsibility related to my
role as a faculty member. I am required to share information regarding sexual misconduct or information about a crime that may have occurred on Truman’s campus with the University. Students may speak to someone confidentially by contacting University Counseling Services at 660-785-4014 (660-665-5621 for after-hours crisis counseling).

Final course grade will be an average of all graded material. This will include process book checks, toggl.com reports, critique participation, quizzes, projects and assignments. Every project and exercise must be completed and turned in on time to get credit. If a project or assignment is turned in, but not satisfactorily completed based on the given requirements the instructor may require you to re-do it.

A – 100-90%. Excellent Work, reflected by:

  • Meeting deadlines for all stages of projects as scheduled.
  • The development of preliminary research as outlined by the instructor.
  • Strong evidence of creative process demonstrated via the idea diary.
  • Communicating desired concepts/ideas to a selected audience.
  • Using space effectively by creating dynamic, foundational elements of visual communications: letter forms, image/illustrations, organizational strategies.
  • Technical proficiency
  • Maintaining a professional attitude in your work.
  • Shows quality project presentation to the class (demonstrating communication skills).
  • Top project(s) in class.

B – 89-80%. Good Work (above average)

  • Very solid effort.
  • May be lacking qualities listed in A description.

C – 79-70%. Fair Work (average)

  • Completes projects as assigned.
  • May be lacking qualities listed in A description

D – 69-60%. Poor Work (below average)

  • Effort lacking, poor attendance to class
  • Suggest dropping course if received frequently.
  • Meet with the instructor for guidance.

F – 59-0%. Failure

  • Major problems with projects (or not turned in).
  • Suggest dropping course if received frequently.

Grading Reminder:
More than three absences will result in letter grade reductions (four is one letter reduction, five is two, etc.).
Unexcused absence on a project due date will result in no points allowed for said project or assignment.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s